Corporate accelerators are a widespread international phenomenon. The METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars is the world’s only accelerator programme that builds a bridge across the complete wholesale, retail and hospitality value chain, thereby opening up unprecedented business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the respective industry. After almost 4 years and more than 2,000 applications from over 60 countries, METRO Accelerator invited the roughly 50 start-ups who participated in the programme so far for the first Alumni Summit in the start-up capital Berlin. The goal: strengthen both the network between founders, investors and industry experts and explore business-building opportunities for a future cooperation.
"We have now reached the 4th year of our Programme. By the end of 2018 we will have around 60 start-up alumni", said Sylvia Dudek, Programme Director of the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars at the Alumni Summit in Berlin. "For a period of 3 months, we support start-ups from the retail and hospitality sectors in developing their business models, and we also assist them in winning new customers and establishing close contacts into their respective industries after the end of the programme."
"The alumni network of our METRO Accelerator Programme is increasingly growing into a strong international community of up-and-coming founders helping to shape tomorrow’s business. Our post-Demo Day support activities focus on a long-term cooperation well beyond the Accelerator Programme", says Andreas Wuerfel, Director Innovation Community and CEO of New York-based HOSPITALITY.digital Inc., the US competence centre of HOSPITALITY.digital, a company of METRO AG. "Ultimately, our goal is to make our start-ups more successful and scale them in the long-term perspective, by putting them in touch with our network."
The example of Ahmet Ünver, CEO and co-founder of the JustSnap app, a promotion and customer loyalty programme for the branded goods industry and one of the 10 start-ups from the first Retail Accelerator Programme in the year 2017, confirms this approach: "We have tripled our number of campaigns and increased our app users fivefold since the end of the programme. We managed to expand our services to both German and Austrian markets. With the advices we got from our mentors during the acceleration programme, we have made a pivot of our solution that enabled us to work with large corporates and integrate to their systems."
For almost 4 years now METRO Accelerator (a HOSPITALITY.digital programme), together with the US-based tech-accelerator Techstars, has been supporting international start-up teams in the development of digital solutions for the hospitality and retail industry. In every round, some 10 start-ups are selected from a large number of applicants and then coached by mentors over a period of three months. In addition to financial support - in each case up to €120,000 - the entrepreneurs get the opportunity to present their business idea to some 300 experts and investors at the Demo Day. Since 2015 METRO Accelerator has piloted three Hospitality Programmes. Start-ups wishing to participate in the 4th round starting November 2018 can submit their application until early August. The Retail Accelerator launched its second round in April 2018.
METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2016/17, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.
HOSPITALITY.digital was established in 2015 and actively contributes to the digitisation of the hospitality sector. An international team of experts implements a variety of digital solutions and innovations for hotels, restaurants, caterers and trader businesses. To this effect, the company relies on self-developed solutions as well as on solutions from start-ups promoted in the framework of the METRO Accelerator programs, and on solutions from other partners. These digital solutions reach small and medium-sized restaurants, hotel and catering businesses through the sales channels of the METRO/MAKRO countries. In addition, the company invests into start-ups from the fields of hospitality tech, retail tech, food tech and food innovation and monitors the trends in the hospitality industry. HORECA.digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of METRO. More information is available at hd.digital.
Under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, METRO and Techstars, in two programs, help international start-up teams in the development of digital solutions. One of the programs focuses on solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector while the second program is aimed at the retail industry. In the framework of the three-month programs organised in Berlin, experienced mentors and experts will in each case help ten selected start-ups to successfully develop their own business further with regard to customers and investors. The METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars was launched in 2015 with a regularly hosted hospitality program that is unique in the world. More information available at www.metroaccelerator.com.
Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorshipdriven accelerator programs and thousands of start-up programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey - from the idea to venture capital investments to M&A and IPO. For more information visit www.techstars.com.